16 Things Only People Who Grew Up Poor Have Learned to Appreciate

year ago

People come from all kinds of backgrounds, with some having more money than others. Those who grow up having very little, usually come to appreciate the smaller things in life. But, of course, they also get to know what a real struggle feels like and never have everything they need around. On the other hand, people who grow up having absolutely everything have no idea what it means to be deprived of necessities.

  • My parents bought some new furniture for the first time when I was around 17 and it was very, very cheap still. I’m 36 now and have been very successful in life, along with my wife, and we were able to easily afford an absurd amount of money to furnish our new home...it was honestly bizarre to do so. I didn’t have to be talked into it but it felt deeply “odd” to buy furniture like that.....extremely luxurious sorta describes it. SMORKIN_LABBIT / Reddit
  • There’s a line from Nick in New Girl that describes being well off as “filling your gas tank up all the way rich.” That was the rich I wanted to be. Comfortable. Also not having to do math in the grocery store to see what food you can buy. I hated that. I wanted to just go buy necessities like gas and food without worrying. Proud to say that now I usually fill my gas tank all the way and don’t do the math when buying groceries. Awkward_Name5898 / Reddit
  • Eating pizza because you want to not because it’s $2. That and mom eating along with us normally instead of pretending that the crust is her favorite part and that’s why she’d eat the crust we left. DirtySingh / Reddit
  • I was poor for a bit and my wife and I would have $100 for food and gas for the month. We had to balance driving too much or eating better food. The first time I was able to fill my tank and buy whatever I wanted to eat was the best feeling. allf8ed / Reddit
  • Shaving cream and quality razors. Even though we had enough money growing up, my mom insisted on those one-blade things and soap to shave my legs. I was stunned as an adult to find out shaving cream costs like $3.50, I honestly thought it would be like $25. mydogisincharge / Reddit
  • My mother used to have the heat on, but before she put it on each winter, we had to go room-to-room and tape over the ducts going to the “less important” rooms. Which is to say, every room except the living room and her bedroom. GavinBelsonsAlexa / Reddit
  • Hiring moving men. Especially if they’re the ones who pack all your stuff for you too. So many times, I would borrow a friend’s pickup (and buy my friend’s help with offers of pizza and beer) to move from one place to another. For my most recent move, my wife and I packed everything but hired professionals to load and unload it. I felt like a king. KhaoticMess / Reddit
  • New shoes when your feet grew. I can count on one hand how many pairs of “new” (thrifted from the donation bin) shoes I had from age 5 to 16. Yzma_Kitt / Reddit
  • Knowing what a duvet cover is and owning one. I remember when my wife and I were newlyweds and she was telling me how we needed a duvet cover for our bed. I had no clue what a duvet cover was prior as I always thought people just purchased sheets and/or the big blankets with the lion/tiger prints. Suffice to say, my mind was blown. hominian / Reddit
  • Making pancakes at home. We were really poor and got most of our food from donations from the food pantry. I thought that only rich people could afford everything that it takes to make pancakes at home. One time, in grade school, I went to a sleepover and my friend’s mom asked if I wanted pancakes for breakfast. I was shocked that they could afford that. I said something like, “No that’s okay, they’re too expensive and I don’t want to take them from you.” She then had to explain that they’re not expensive to make at all. That’s when I learned just how poor I really was. lady_farter / Reddit
  • There was this boy who had to write an essay at school about how the poor live. He wrote, ’There was this family that was really, really poor: the gardener was poor, the chauffeur was poor, the butler was poor, the housekeeper was poor, the pool boy was poor... gansi_m / Reddit
  • Owning a car. My dad had the city bus schedules memorized. We eventually got to know the bus drivers. When I worked at a grocery store, the driver would wait for me at the bus stop if I was running a few minutes late. Ron0hh / Reddit

Bonus: Things rich people will never relate to.

  • Diluted dishwashing soap that doubles as hand-washing soap dawnangel89 / Reddit
  • My mom used to save the remainders of soap bars, and when she had enough of them, she’d somehow fuse them together to make a whole “new” bar. It was pink or blue or some other hue, and it was pretty. I looked forward to the new-to-us bars of soap. summermadnes / Reddit
  • The drawer where you put the bills you have to pay but don’t need to pay immediately to live. The drawer is only emptied after it won’t close anymore because 16 duplicates have been received and the said bill is no closer to getting paid. prettychickenfinger / Reddit
  • There was a scene from Family Guy where Carter Pewterschmidt (Lois’s rich dad) visits their house. When he walks in, he says, “Oh, I forgot you were poor so your front door opens directly into your living room.” I felt that. JK_NC / Reddit

What have you come to appreciate about your childhood that you took for granted but now realize how precious it was?

Preview photo credit Blytheanne / Reddit


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